Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Learning on Gaming Platforms - a developing art

I joined a large group of interested professionals from education, broadcast, ICT media worlds (plus more) this morning at BAFTA for a breakfast conference based on 'Learning on Gaming Platforms'.
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Sponsored by FutureLab and Sony PSP, there was a really interesting presentation by James Durran, AST of the Parkway Federation in Cambridge. At Parkway as a part of their Year 8 curriculum, every student follows a programme on Gaming. As part of the presentation Alec demonstrated very very quickly how he introduced students to creating their own games, and gave many examples of how he linked it to other subjects including English, History and Geography. The benefits to critical thinking, digital literacy, problem solving an dingenuity are obvious! This appeared to be a sophisticated course, certainly the best that I have seen in a school. I wish we had had it when I was a Headteacher. For more information visit: www.parksidemedia.net
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With an estimated 59% of 6 - 65 year olds in the UK being 'gamers' (BBC 2005 figures, so these are almost certainly conservative), there is clearly massive interest and potential in the technology. As was noted, those people that use technology such as Play Stations to only play games, are massively under utilising the potential of the technology. On the Sony sponsored video several education settings extolled the benefits of using PSP machines in their normal curriculum work. Crucially they talked about increased student engagement.
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The Bryan Review (2008) stresses the need for further research into the benefits of using gaming in education - based on what I saw today, this is something that should be done soon.
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2 comments:

Issy Donnelly said...

Gareth, our paths cross again... we have just produced a DVD for Parkside promoting their school and presented by their very confident students! Issy

Gareth Long said...

this is SUCH a small world Issy - great to hear from you again... for more information on GDA Associates visit their website on www.grebotdonnelly.com